Pump Court Chambers

International Women’s Day 2024 – Legally Flushed Newsletter

News, Blog 8th March 2024
Imogen Robins

Dear Legally Flushed Community,

As we celebrate International Women’s Day #Inspireinclusion, I thought I would send our first newsletter. It has been a remarkable year for Legally Flushed.

As we all know, Legally Flushed stands as a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing the professional lives of women and their allies. Our driving force is encapsulated in our strapline – “connecting women lawyers everywhere.” It’s a cause close to my heart, born out of a desire to give back after three decades in the legal profession. Through the highs and lows, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of forging a path that aligns with our values and career aspirations.

I am profoundly grateful to the incredible individuals who surround me, ranging from barristers and solicitors to clerks and judges. The legal profession offers a unique blend of continuous learning, challenging work, and opportunities for both professional and personal growth. However, it’s a journey best undertaken together, as only by strengthening our professional network can we truly thrive.

Legally Flushed has the ambitious goal of not only ensuring women are flushed with success but also experiencing the momentary rewards that come from a legal career. While progress is evident, there’s still a long way to go. As a seasoned barrister, it can be disheartening to witness the slow pace of change. The statistics on the gender pay gap for women are stark. The research found that women on average earn less from day one in practice when the difference is 17%, rising to its peak at 11-15 years’ call of 30%. The solicitors profession requires progress too. Although the SRA acknowledge progress in its report in December 2023, but statistics show that the proportion of women solicitors has grown to 53% of women, there is still a significant seniority gap. Women are less well represented in firms with 50 or more partners, with only 28% being equity partners, compared to 32% of equity partners across all firms. The gender pay gap statistics for those from more diverse backgrounds is even more telling, with women from BAME backgrounds experiencing the greatest gap. The report from the Bar Council is here.

As to wellbeing, a report into the working lives of barristers published this year revealed that female barristers reported significantly lower levels of overall well being when compared to the men who responded. Women comprised of 48% those responding. White barristers reported significantly higher overall well being than those from ethnically diverse groups. You can read the report commissioned by the Bar Council here.

Legally Flushed aims to be a sanctuary where support reigns, free from judgement, and filled with like-minded individuals offering help and encouragement. The legal profession has e acting demands, being vulnerable can be difficult. It is through being honest and genuine we can reshape the legal landscape to be truly inclusive. The statistics reveal that there are still many challenges faced by female lawyers. It is men and women together who change the status quo. I invite you to delve into the statistics that reveal the uneven road many face within our profession. The journey for equality is ongoing, and Legally Flushed is dedicated to propelling positive change.

The past year has been exciting for Legally Flushed since our launch on International Women’s Day 2023 in Winchester. The event saw an enthusiastic turnout of lawyers, with positive energy and support echoing throughout.

Subsequent online and in-person events, including the “Supporting Your Success” conference in November 2023, showcased a stellar line-up of speakers delving into topics impacting women in the workplace. Gratitude is extended to all involved in making these events successful and especially to Blake Morgan who hosted the event.

Our Legally Flushed networking breakfast at the Winchester Chambers of Pump Court brought together a diverse group of women and a few men, reinforcing the inclusive spirit that defines Legally Flushed. We have now launched our “Legally Flushed lunch online” and welcomed Nikki Alderson, a barrister turned coach as our guest speaker.

I am so very grateful to my Chambers, Pump Court and in particular, Tony Atkins, our Senior Clerk for his invaluable support in setting up the initiative. There are so many people to thank, but I have to express my sincere appreciation to Dani Taylor of Paris Smith, Jennifer Williamson of Blake Morgan, Keeley Lengthorn of Taylor Rose MW and Huw Miles of Paris Smith who have given so much time to support Legally Flushed. Last but not least has to be Joy Ogeh-Hutfield, of Joy Transformations International who prompted me to run with the idea.

Over the coming months we will be announcing some more exciting initiatives, including the “Legally Flushed Awards” to celebrate all that is good and uplifting in the profession, along with those professionals who make such a difference.

Here’s to another year of progress, support, and empowerment. Together, we continue to shape a legal profession that truly works for all.

Warm regards, Imogen Robins

Founder, Legally Flushed

Please click here to download the PDF version of the newsletter.

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